Soft Dollar Savings of Video Conferencing

By Pha Lo
Updated: August 29, 2011

Astute business owners create budgets that factor in all the hard costs necessary to stay afloat, offer competitive rates to customers and innovate for future growth. From employee pay to the monthly lease, there are some static costs that business owners plan for and know about.

But when it comes to soft costs, the intangible big and small dollars that add up, unexpected surprises can wreak havoc on a perfectly panned budget.

Here are some ways that a video conferencing system can save soft dollars for any business.

Travel: Video conferencing can significantly reduce or eliminate travel costs without losing the personal touch and interaction necessary to conduct business meetings. This soft-cost savings is especially critical because travel expenses are often unpredictable, subject to the whims of weather and fluctuating airline fees and hotel rates. Even the most carefully planned budget will not always accurately predict soft costs related to travel.

Time: If time is money than video conferencing puts thousands of soft dollars back into a business more efficiently than many other cost-cutting tactics. Not only does video conferencing save time on organizing important personnel into one place for meetings, but it often helps to set more organized agendas. Clear agendas keep meetings moving forward, getting people back to their tasks sooner.

Connection: Any longstanding business knows that miscommunications can lead to costly mistakes. With video conferencing, businesses can patch in workers, organize a global sales force or simply distribute updates in one place to all personnel. Video conferencing capabilities allow management to show and tell about new products, policies and sales strategies. Interactive features allow employees to ask questions and get involved. All of this reduces the risks of miscommunications.

Remote workers: Businesses may rely on product specialists or industry experts to handle certain projects. Another soft dollar investment in video conferencing is the cost-savings required to host a specialist in-house. If a specific consultant is only needed on a part-time basis, video conferencing allows for interaction, communications and efficiency without the hard costs associated with providing workspace. What’s more, video conferencing supports the increasing trend toward work-life balance and flex time. Recently, the federal government took steps to further this movement, citing balance as a source of employee satisfaction, which in turn increases productivity.

Using video conferencing technology to support communications and interaction can help many businesses reduce operating costs. Further, soft dollar savings add value that may increase exponentially, going beyond the tangible and immediate results that can be seen from one month to the next.

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